Spellman Sweater by Dragon Hoard designs

Review of the Spellman Sweater by Dragon Hoard designs

I wanted to join in on the virtual 'Tell me about your Rhinebeck sweater' video that Kristy Glass Knits was producing this year. Given that the New York Sheep and Wool Festival was cancelled this year, like many other events, it would be nice to join in with everyone else coming together at this time. I can't normally go myself, and love watching Kristy's video every year, gaining inspiration from all the makers attending the festival. It comes at a time of the year when the seasons change and I'm heading back into the sweater drawer anyway, so I decided that I may as well aim for the October deadline and join in this unusual year. Thankfully, I did just about finish in time to send a video to Kristy and she did include it in her compilation. You can find her video here. It's 3 hours long (I'm fairly early on) but so full of brilliant makes - lovely to watch.


Yarn

This is where the sweater started. I had one skein of La Bien Aimee Merino Sport in the Quartz Fume colourway that I had purchased from A Yarn Story in their rare sale. I loved the colour when it arrived and when deciding what to knit for my Rhinebeck sweater, I decided to try and get 2 more skeins (£29.50 each, with shipping on top as well). It was going to be an investment, but I was so taken with the yarn, knowing that it would be special in a sweater in the end, that I went ahead anyway. It has felt lovely to knit with and feels very comfortable to wear. I can't yet attest to how well it resists pilling, but will expect some as it is 100% wool.

I had 40g left over. This really surprised me - I thought I would be running out of yarn.

Pattern and Instructions

I then had to find a pattern that had a yardage that matched my 3 skeins. At 325m/355 yards each, this wasn't easy. I couldn't find many options on Ravelry for sport weight sweaters, under 1000m for my size. I looked through my own pattern stash, trying to find what might work and landed on the Spellman sweater, by Dragon Hoard Designs.
I have always loved this design, even though it actually uses mohair (which I'm not keen on). It is designed to be knit with fingering weight held with mohair, and the yardage of the fingering weight matched what I had in sport weight yarn. The sport yarn I had is quite close in thickness, and I decided that I could omit the bobbles on the sleeves to save on some yardage - I wasn't keen on these for my style and would have left them off in any case. I also thought that if I began to run out, I would simply have shorter sleeves.

Review of the Spellman Sweater by Dragon Hoard designs

I knit the pattern and used the recommended needles. I didn't do a gauge swatch, deciding that by the time I had knit the neck and a couple of inches, it wouldn't take much longer than a swatch and I could just carry on from there. Luckily, it was fine! I did follow the instructions for the optional short row shaping, using the German short row method, as I think this gives a better fit in the end. There are additional notes that you can use if you want further bust shaping too. I basically used what I have learned through my sewing makes to determine what would fit me best - high round back and not needing to do full bust adjustments. I kept careful track of the yarn I was using along the way and used the helical method to alternate the skeins, just in case the hand dyed yarn would lead to pooling. 

The alternating of the skeins was the most difficult part of this pattern - it's really simple and would be a good one to have as a second (or potentially even first) sweater. It uses raglan sleeves and has clear directions to help you keep on top of these. After you split for the sleeves, where you have an easy cable pattern to keep track of, you are basically knitting plain stockinette so it can be knit quite quickly. Mine took about 6 weeks, which is quick for me (and includes some time moving house too!). I extended the body to 10" from the underarm before I began the hem, as a personal preference. The sleeves were also a custom length (but did match the number of repeats indicated in the pattern).  I would very much recommend this to other knitters, especially beginners as Trysten is very clear in her instructions with helpful notes at the outset. 

Review of the Spellman Sweater by Dragon Hoard designs

Features that I particularly like about the finished sweater are the cables along the sleeves, the shaping just before the hem, and the fit around the neck. I really enjoyed knitting this as I could give attention to other things at the same time and it was very relaxing. I think it's beautifully designed and would definitely try out others of hers. 

And I didn't run out of yarn!!! :) 


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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with dressmaking and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm a lifelong foodie, so you'll also find some delicious recipes and places to get that foodie fix.
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